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ISLAMABAD: The Accountability Court, on Thursday, ordered to initiate process of declaring close aide of former president Asif Ali Zardari, Mushtaq Ahmed a proclaimed offender, in a corruption case related to over Rs8.3 billion transactions through fake bank accounts against him and Zardari.

Accountability Court judge Syed Ashgar Ali, while hearing the case, ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to start process of declaring Ahmed, a proclaimed offender under Section 87 of CrPC.

The court also issued non-bailable arrest warrants of Ahmed on July 27 for his continuous absence from the court hearings.

The proclamation process involved publication of notices in newspapers directing the accused to appear in court.

Failure to do so would result in seizure of property and issuance of further warrants.

Zardari's counsel filed an application before the court seeking one day exemption from personal appearance before it, which the court approved.

Wasim Javed, prosecutor NAB, Investigation Officer (IO) NAB, and the defence counsel appeared before the court. The court adjourned hearing of the case till September 9.

According to the reference, Ahmed opened a joint account with a private housing society.

The account had been used for depositing corruption money and laundering money, the reference says.

It said that there was concrete evidence that Zardari had purchased House NoF-32, Block 04, Clifton, Karachi through corruption money.

It says that the stenographer, Ahmed had made payment for Zardari's Clifton house.

An amount of Rs150 million was paid to one Ahmad Abdul Bari against House NoF-32, Block 04, Clifton, Karachi, which was transferred in the name of accused Zardari, from the account of Ahmed, it says.

According to the NAB, accused Zardari failed to provide any justification for the acceptance of an amount of Rs150 million, which proves that the amount received through a complicated, circuitous and devious route by using the convict Zain Malik and his trusted person accused Ahmed, by concealing the origin and trail of money, the same was used to purchase House NoF-32, Block 04, Clifton, Karachi.

The NAB reference says that during investigation it has transpired that the accused, Ahmed, was appointed as a stenographer in President House, who remained there from 2009 till 2013, and in the same period, accused Zardari was the president of Pakistan.

The financial profile of the accused, Ahmed is also investigated, which shows that Ahmed had no such source of income to match with the magnitude of transactions in the above mentioned joint account, it says.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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